The ordinary switches require an attendant to operate them, and are therefore exceptionable in many points of view, they are costly, and are liable to dreadful accidents if by any cause they are neglected to be turned in a proper direction for passing trains. To remedy these disadvantages an improved switch, which is self-acting, has been invented by Theodore Sharp, of Chatham-4-corners, N. Y., who has taken measures to secure a patent. LBy this contrivance the passing trains are made to operate the switches by bearing in ! their course upon levers which are placed vertically on pins secured on the outer side of the rails, and are forced down horizontally as the wheels pass over them, drawing the rails to the required direction for the cars. To effect this object, the pendulous levers just mentioned are connected by a cross-piece, and longitudinal bars that are part ot their length made flexible to the switches, which, when in a right position for the passage ot the train, are secured by a catch on one side. There is likewise a contrivance for unlocking the switches when it is required to reverse them by means of bent rods and rock shafts, and the entire apparatus is kept from injury in a case of any suitable form, as may be required.
This article was originally published with the title "Self-Acting Switch"